Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Knut Henrik Henriksen + Le Corbusier

Scale of Proportions which makes the Bad Difficult and the Good Easy
Wooden beams, planks and styrofoam panels
Unique / KH/I 2006-001

via Standard Oslo

31.08.-01.10.2006 / Opening: Thursday 31.08.2006 / 19.00-21.00 /


STANDARD (OSLO) is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with the Norwegian artist Knut Henrik Henriksen. Since graduating in 1997, Knut Henrik Henriksen’s sculptural works continuously challenge exhibition spaces in which they take place. They seem to be inserting elements of intimacy – and thus also doubt – into spaces that rather are defined by authoritarian or monumental qualities. His first exhibition at STANDARD (OSLO) makes no difference: the gallery is altered to serve as a vehicle for a discussion on the mathematically harmonious and universal standards.

The exhibition “Scale of Proportions Which Makes the Bad Difficult and the Good Easy” takes its starting point from a historical meeting; between the architect Le Corbusier and the physician and mathematician Albert Einstein in 1942. Le Corbusier took this opportunity to introduce Einstein to his work with the “Modulor” – an attempt at locating the Golden Section proportional to the height of a human. If such a system could be devised it would form an ideal basis for universal standardization. Using such a system of corresponding measurements Le Corbusier proposed that architects, engineers and designers would find it relatively simple to produce forms that were both commodious and mathematically harmonic. Einstein’s later response was that such a system would make “the bad difficult and the good easy”, but didn’t necessarily foresee how heroic ideas not automatically translates into heroic design.

Knut Henrik Henriksen’s works are equally driven by a search for mathematical harmony and potentially endless structures, while also remaining conscious how the introduction of universal standards seem to have fuelled the technical and economic rationalization of late Modernism. In the only work in the exhibition this discussion takes form of a deadpan analysis. Lowering the gallery ceiling to Le Corbusier’s idealized 2.26, the architect’s philanthropic ambition of placing man at the centre of building is tested out, but paradoxically done so in a building context that normally places objects at the centre. The anti-septic cleanliness of the gallery is amplified – offering the viewer little more than void and an experience of one’s own scale in relation to the space. The sculpture is rather defined as the space in between the two horizontal layers. Both miming and mocking the whiteness of the gallery space Henriksen is employing white square Styrofoam ceiling panels – bought from a DIY store in the working class area of Berlin. Henriksen keeps returning to these cheap standardized materials from DIY stores – inextricably connected to the tristesse of high-rise office buildings, but also to apartments and the numerous cafés in Henriksen’s home area of Kreuzberg and Neukölln in Berlin. His alterations of this material is kept at an absolute minimum in this work. Rather Henriksen has an interest in the material’s inherent and unadulterated qualities, citing the artist Carl Andre’s early wooden constructions and ‘scatter pieces’ as sources of inspiration.

Knut Henrik Henriksen (b. 1970, Oslo) lives and works in Berlin. His recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions at the galleries Elastic in Malmö and Hollybush Gardens in London, and "Longing balloons are floating around the world", Green Light Pavillion in Berlin. During the exhibition period his work can also be seen in exhibitions such as, "Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better", Momentum 2006 in Moss, "Domino" at Air de Paris in Paris, and in "XXe Ateliers Internationaux Du Frac Des Pays De La Loire" at Le Frac des Pays de la Loire in Nantes. Henriksen is also commissioned to do a large-scale public sculpture for the new regional hospital AHUS outside of Oslo to be completed in 2007. The artist will be in Oslo during the mounting of the exhibition.

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